AN IDENTITY THAT UNITES OSLO

Short List
ClientCITY OF OSLO
Category A02. Rebrand / Refresh of an existing Brand
TitleAN IDENTITY THAT UNITES OSLO
Product/ServiceBRAND IDENTITY
Entrant CREUNA Oslo, NORWAY
Idea Creation CREUNA Oslo, NORWAY
Credits
Name Company Position
Marc Ligeti Creuna Norway Lead Brand Designer
Thor Erik Ramleth Creuna Norway Lead Brand Designer
Ole Marius Rygh Creuna Norway Digital Designer
Balder Dysthe Creuna Norway Motion Designer
Heidi Bakken Creuna Norway Lead Digital Designer
Stein Sørlie Creuna Norway Creative Director
John Aurtande Creuna Norway Account Manager
Nina O'Gorman Creuna Norway Strategic Advisor
Beate Haugane Creuna Norway Project Manager
Stefan Ellmer Stefan Ellmer Font Designer
Bjørn Endre Langeland Creuna Norway 3D renders
Janecke Løyning Creuna Norway Artworker
Marius Watz Creuna Norway Front End Developer

Background

Oslo, Norway’s capital, is a modern and growing city, loved by its residents. It has 15 districts, 36 agencies, 53 000 employees, and countless projects and initiatives. But, with over 250 logos in use, this caused confusion and clutter. As a result, Oslo’s residents didn’t recognise much of the good work their municipal government actually did. The ambition was to simplify and modernise the City of Oslo’s visual identity and to develop a new coherent and flexible interface between the city and its citizens. With so many stake holders and different needs, transparency and broad involvement was the only way to reduce the number of logos and identities and secure ownership for the solutions that we developed. Over 1500 city employees and residents were involved in the design process. The identity will be implemented over the next 3-4 years to reduce costs.

Describe the creative idea (40% of vote)

By presenting itself as clearer and more relevant to its citizens – there was an opportunity to build a closer bond between the city and its residents. A monolithic brand structure with a single logo and identity for all municipal entities communicates more clearly everything what the city does and is responsible for. We created a new logo, by simplifying the city’s seal; and a flexible system inspired by shapes from Oslo’s streetscapes and architectural details. Infinitely reconfigurable, the shapes can also spell “Oslo” as a word picture. The new identity adapts to the diversity of the city’s institutions and services. It creates a unified visual identity across all channels and all communication styles and tones - from authoritative to playful. It works as well in 2D and 3D, has defined motion and fulfils universal design requirements.

Describe the execution (40% of vote)

Three shapes, inspired by Oslo’s streetscapes, are the basic building blocks of the identity system. The system is flexible and simple enough to be used by everyone, for everything. It adapts to the diversity of the city’s institutions and services and all channels of communication. Our custom typeface, Oslo Sans, inspired by generations of city street signs, supports universal design requirements. Functional and versatile, it’s usable everywhere: from mobile devices to signage. As extra flourish, the font systematically stylises texts by transforming dots and punctuation marks into Oslo shapes. Our Digital Design Assistant reduces the barriers and costs to good design: any of the 53,000 employees can choose a template, input information, upload photos, and receive automatically designed and exportable layouts. The overall result is clarity and efficiency, and broad flexibility. The new identity is a great tool to help Oslo and its residents continue to connect and thrive together.

List the results (20% of vote)

It’s estimated that the fragmented approach, with so many identities, cost the municipality €4 million each year. The new identity will lead to a significant cost reduction. It’s now easier for the citizens to understand what the city does and what kind of services it provides. This improved transparency helps build closer bonds between the city and its residents - a fertile platform from which democracy itself can flourish. The new identity is easier to use and manage. We developed the Oslo Digital Design Assistant that reduces barriers and costs for simple on-brand communication. The tool also creates a broader employee engagement and connection to the brand and identity. The project has received much interest national and internationally. It has been published in many leading international online and print publications and all major Norwegian newspapers. There’s been a high level of enthusiasm and engagement since the launch of the identity.